To believe in the resurrection of Jesus is to be comforted;
comforted at a level so deep that nothing in life
is ultimately a threat any longer.
In the resurrection,
the hand of God soothes us
and the voice of God assures us,
frightened children that we are, that all is good
and that all will remain good for ever and ever.
The Passion and the Cross
The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!
In the middle of these days of darkness, loss and sorrow, when our world is afflicted in a manner which is “unprecedented”, to use that recently overused yet fitting word, the Body of Christ and we the members of that Body, celebrate the resurrection. We celebrate it because we believe in the God who, at all times, has the last word over even death itself. Our hope in the resurrection is in the one who brings his son from the cold deathly tomb to the bright radiance of Easter morning
Today, even as we face up to the harshness of reality, people look forward to better times.
We long for the day when to hug our loved ones and be hugged by those who are precious to us will again be normal, when going for a walk or a drive in the countryside will be seen as a good thing rather than an offence, when sitting down in our thousands to enjoy a football match will again be second nature to us.
But there is also another level
The world will never be the same again, people predict. But then they add – but it can be a better place. It can be better!! We hear it so often. The hope people express is that thoughtfulness, care for one another, gentleness, love and straightforward kindness and goodness can become more abundant in this changed and transformed world. Hope in the resurrection is surely truly present in that wish.
At my desk as I write these words, I have another phone call from one of our parishioners. People have been so kind and thoughtful to me over these weeks of lockdown and isolation. Our parishioner on the phone and his wife have been both battling cancer and doing so with all the added difficulties which the coronavirus brings.
Yet he phones to ask how I am and how I am doing. – Me, sitting here in these massive parish house quarters and huge grounds and with no lack of my brothers and sisters in the Lord looking out for me. He thinks of me and his voiced concerns are also are for the way in which the poor are singularly suffering today in the United States and elsewhere.
He displays to me the inner and deep power of the resurrection of Jesus. In spite of his cross, he is deeply empowered with the risen life of his saviour. So these green shoots of hope are not lacking. The new life of Easter is not gone from us. The risen Lord continues to speak and live and love through many people. The resurrection we can still celebrate. Happy Easter is still an authentic wish, since we encounter that life of Easter at the deepest and most authentic levels of our lives.
To finish this short reflection, I turn again to Ronald Rolheiser, who writes
“To say, “Don’t be afraid,” and mean it is to say that, in the end
the power of goodness is stronger than the power of malice
that dead bodies come out of graves, that all our mistakes will
be forgiven, and that all terrors are phantom.
That is the power of the resurrection! That is what we mean
when we say: I believe in the resurrection of the body and
life everlasting”. The resurrection means more than just the
fact that God raised the body of Jesus from the dead.
It means that God’s power to raise death to life buoys up
every moment of life and every aspect of reality.
Do you want to understand the power of the resurrection?
Meditate on Michelangelo’s Pieta:
A woman holds a dead body in her arms,.
But everything about her and the scene itself
says loudly and clearly: “Do not be afraid. It’s all right.
Everything is and will be all right!”
The Passion and the Cross
Easter Sunday 2020